One from the back catalogue
I said the first two weeks of 2014 were hectic in relationship land. This one was a biggie. I didn't share on this blog right away because I wanted to talk things through with Grotto and Lobe first, and process it a bit more myself.
There's no crisis at present. Tape around the crime scene reads "Caution: To be discussed".
Wrote this flying back from visiting Lobe around New Years (6 Jan):
I'm bleeding. It's both a disappointment and a reprieve: Not This Month. My period's a few days early --- also a blessing, of sorts.
Lobe and I may have slipped up this visit. I'm not sure. I fear yes, but I can't figure it out. Need to talk with Grotto. Ah, more, again.
A couple of months ago (maybe; my sense of time is a bit out of whack at the moment) I had a direct conversation with Grotto about his feelings re: Lobe coming inside me. Before that discussion, both Grotto and Lobe had separately mentioned to me an openness to a co-operative rather than competitive family making, more than one dad in the delivery room & such.
So, how serious was this? I asked Grotto. He said yes, in theory, but he was not yet comfortable with going there. He needed more time to process. He said he was open to it in principle, but thought (very correctly) that we should all chat first about how that would work in practice. Make sure we were all on the same page.
Since then, Grotto and I have talked about the issue a couple more times, but mostly we've been focusing on sorting other aspects of our relationship.
The most recent time this topic came up with Grotto was a few days before Christmas (I think). We had just teased out a bit more of the tension between us, and we had very loving sex on the couch. He came inside me, then we held each other and talked some more.
One thing I brought up was how it felt a bit territorial, for Grotto to come inside me when there was a current boundary in place against the same happening with Lobe. I felt a bit like a claimed country, with my body being owned in a way I wasn't entirely comfortable with.
I knew there was nothing territorial about Grotto's intent. It was more that the situation itself had that inherent imbalance. We decided to put the issue of pregnancy to one side, in order to focus on other things we needed to work through. This would include Grotto not coming inside me until we'd figured out the whole Grotto-me-Lobe baby dynamic.
Since then, Grotto and I have healed, deeply. We had an achingly close New Year's Eve: pitchforks deep into the caked mud of us, uprooting chunks of dense matter, clearing the ground. Big love, so big. The springtime felt light and fresh. The breeze was a life-giving breath.
I left Grotto in the morning on New Year's Day. He was a happy bug asleep in his bed. Ocean and I were flying out that afternoon. Before I left Grotto's place, I thought of revisiting the issue of pregnancy with him, but I didn't want to put another heavy issue on the end of a beautiful night. Clarity is best practice, I know. But sometimes you don't have the right moment.
Lobe and I had gotten close to the line at times, but had managed to respect the boundary so far. What I gambled on is that we could hold off this time too, until I had talked with Grotto properly. Reasonable enough, right?
Turns out the biological imperative had other ideas. We sailed way too close to the current and got dragged out twice, maybe three times. Yup, I don't even know how many times. The first time was mainly my recklessness. I was on top, stopped caring. Oh my god, I am unused to being this much of an animal. It is wonderful but also unnerving!
As soon as it happened, I realised that I may have fucked up AGAIN. Played 'let's make fire' with Grotto's emotions AGAIN. How could I do this, right after we'd been through a hellish few weeks?
But, hmm... maybe not. Maybe it's not so bad. I actually have no idea.
Was the boundary still in force? Yes, officially. No doubt about it. We have not had the discussion required to remove the boundary.
Would breaching the boundary hurt Grotto? I don't know. Given the very recent distress Grotto had been feeling, fresh punches to old bruises re: my boundary breaching with Lobe six months ago, this could be a very sensitive spot.
On the other hand, things feel very very different between Grotto and I now. We've sorted out a lot, if not all, of what was ailing us. I can imagine this being a non-issue for Grotto as much as I can imagine it being a major issue.
The fact that I don't know, means I've fucked up, I think! I knew this the first time it happened, and I said so. I said, "I actually don't know how Grotto will feel about this. I'm either on or over the line for him. This should not happen again unless I have talked things through with Grotto."
The second (and possible third) time, I actually don't know what happened. Things got confused, and if at all it was more Lobe's fault. That said, both of us share general responsibility for cultivating an environment not very conducive to always behaving well. Hmm...
A couple of points to give more context here.
First, Grotto and I (at least) are not the kind of folks who require strict adherence to rules. In almost everything, we are fluid and forgiving, respectful of each other's autonomy, taking responsibility for speaking up about our own needs and fears and desires. We are also bold experimenters, accepting risks and blind chance as a healthy part of daily life.
So while this might seem like a crazy situation to some people, to be "going with the flow" about an issue as serious as starting a family, it's somewhat typical for us.
Second, Lobe and I are physical. We mate. Oh yes, we make love, we have tenderness, we hold each other, we are playful and rough and all the rest. But there's a very powerful, base frequency which is simply: go. Fucking, go. And because of who he is, and how I feel about him, I have no defences against going there, no reservations at all. And he feels the same way. Despite how complex the practicalities, with other partners, long-distance, etc , there comes a point where we have nothing with any grip on us at all.
On top of this, Lobe knows that this is the simplest path for him to make sense of us. That drive, at least, has a straight-forward trajectory. Thinking things through keeps getting clogged up: there's no logic to this, it's stupid. He should be avoiding this situation altogether. There are few reasons to have hope, few rational pegs to reassure him that this machine can hold its integrity. It's scary. And yet, he knows, fundamentally knows, that we can make it work.
Getting from here (being physically apart) to there (being phyically together) requires a leap of faith that his mind is unwilling to choose for itself. To be reckless as to pregnancy is him, jumping. And here I am, catching him.
But no, not just him and me. There's Grotto too, and Ocean. This could be so loving and supportive, if we do it right.
More conversations, most certainly more.
Update (7 Jan):
Talked with Grotto. Things are OKAY. He wasn't hurt or upset, although we acknowledged how much easier it was as a situation, because I'd already got my period. Bullet: dodged.
Grotto's vascillating at the moment about wanting kids or not. He thought he wanted to, but the reality of it is hitting him sometimes and freaking him out. He needs more time, he wants to feel stable before deciding to do this.
He's being surprisingly sensible! It's for the best, really. Seems wise. More than that, he says, it's necessary for his mental health.
Also, he is nervous that he will be rushed into things. That I will want kids with Lobe and just go ahead with that and leave him behind.
That sounds gross, and not something I'd want to do. On the other hand... what if that is what I want? I can't promise to save my body for someone, indefinitely. I'm not a personal baby making machine that you can reserve for if / when you're ready.
I know that's a harsh way of putting it, but I guess I'm aware that I need to be careful what I commit to people. Grotto has my heart. My love and my care. My support and admiration. I love how we talk, how we touch, how we untangle each other.
But sometimes he does move slower than me. A lot slower. And sometimes he says "let's do it" to something and then later, changes his mind. I know he'd prefer if I wasn't so much on the move always. If I could slow down and be more accommodating of his lumbering pace.
I'm the kind of person who sets off on her own adventures, and is happy for the company of anyone who wants to join, but also happy to be alone. I'm not so great at waiting for people who are unsure of what they want, or who are dragging their feet. An impatient imp.
Gah, I'm not sure how to deal with this.
Things with Lobe are new! I've only known him for about eight months!
I haven't told Lobe that I've got my period yet. I know I should tell him; he'd want to know. But I don't feel like talking about this long distance. I want to hold him, or at least see him, when I tell him. It isn't a big deal, on the surface, but there are emotions.
The take-home message for me is that we really shouldn't do this long-distance!
Grotto and I had a few times when he came inside me, when the two of us were long-distance but one was visiting the other. It wasn't the greatest, the days afterwards... I definitely felt the distance.
So if this is going to work, really, we'll need to move to the same city first I think. And at the very least, Grotto, Lobe and I have to talk about this together, properly. Sensible is a good thing. This is a major life challenge we'd be embarking upon. Despite any confidence or optimism we may have about muddling through, we should be smarter than this. We are smarter than this. C'mon, brain!